Sun, Dec 28, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Chen, Lien square up in southern Taiwan rallies

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday said the March election will be a clincher to decide whether the people of Taiwan can stand up to the pressure of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

"The CCP had convened a meeting on Dec. 2 to decide using all the means of the media, Internet and Taiwanese businessmen in China to attack me. The presidential election next year is not my personal election nor that of the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] to retain the administration; it's a fight of the unified Taiwanese people against the CCP," Chen said yesterday.

He said the more democratic Taiwan is, the more oppression from China it faces. China's concentration of attacks through the media, Internet and Taiwanese businessmen in China is to further isolate Taiwan.

"China has always tried to use all possible means to interfere with Taiwan's election. But we have to tell them: The people of Taiwan will determine our own future and choose our own leader. The 2004 poll is an election to counter China. Taiwan will never fail, and our democracy will prevail," Chen told a huge rally of nearly 30,000 people last night at Pu-chih township, Chiayi County.

The DPP yesterday established its campaign headquarters in southern Chiayi County, one of the DPP's strongholds.

President Chen said since the DPP came to power, the party has initiated numerous construction plans, turning the situation around where constructions in the southern agricultural county has long been neglected.

"Lien Chan (連戰), the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) presidential candidate had said if he was elected, he would build a branch of the National Palace Museum in Taichung. In that case, the long-time wish of the Chiayi people to have a national museum will be disappointed yet again. We must not let that happen," Chen said.

However, in a campaign rally that attracted tens of thousand of supporters last night in Hsin-ying, KMT Chairman Lien kept slamming Chen for his revealing the exact number of missiles China is aiming at Taiwan.

"The Taiwan agents collecting intelligence in China prove their love for Taiwan by risking their lives. Those anonymous heroes are greater than any so-called `son of Taiwan' or `father of Taiwan,'" Lien said.

He said that no national leader should reveal any classified information collected by the nation's intelligence agents.

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